SMS Texting Can Aid in Disaster Response Efforts

13 Jan

When disaster strikes a country, people spring into action to help. SMS texting can aid in disaster response efforts. SMS campaigns for disaster response are becoming popular in effectively get information to intended recipients in times of tragedy. 

Prior to the advent of the Internet, humanitarian aid may have taken weeks, if not months, to reach communities devastated by flooding, hurricanes or earthquakes. Living in a global marketplace means that help can arrive with the press of a button. With SMS texting, concerned citizens can join relief efforts via their cell phones and make charitable contributions to victims of tragedy. Such was the case with the recent Typhoon Haiyan, a Category 5 tropical cyclone which ripped through the Philippines and caused widespread damage and loss of life.

When most people think of SMS marketing, they typically think of mobile campaigns that help foster new clientele and spread the word about their goods and services. Today, SMS texting is no longer viewed as merely a mobile marketing service, but as a useful tool to distribute aid to those in need. Many charities are realizing the benefits of mobilizing their audience to donate via SMS texting. People can contribute to relief efforts by texting a keyword to a short code and donating as little as $5 or $10 per text. The advantage of these text-to-donate programs is that donors may be on the go when they hear of the tragedy and don’t have access to a computer. Since most people carry a mobile device, SMS texting allows them to participate easily and affordably via their cell phone.

In addition to providing financial assistance to ailing communities, SMS marketing can also be used to disseminate information about the tragedy and keep users updated on new developments. In the case of Typhoon Haiyan, people in the local community were able to serve as “iReporters” and text stories and updates to radio stations in their area via SMS codes. This form of SMS texting provides first person accounts of the devastation and galvanizes others into contributing.

SMS texting is the wave of the future when it comes to aiding in disaster relief efforts. Every day people can make a difference with a simple text.

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